A Central Huron man is out a chunk of change after falling victim to an online scam.

The 25-year-old accepted a friend request on Facebook last fall and it ended up costing him dearly.

The victim accepted the friend request from someone purportedly named “Dorris” from Ghana.

After some initial Facebook communication he was directed to start communicating with her via a mobile messenger application.

After a couple months of texting and emailing, Dorris asked him to send her some money.

The funds were supposed to pay for groceries, medical bills, phone bills, a grandmother’s surgery and for a plane ticket.

The Central Huron resident sent eight money transfers totalling $6,400 to Dorris.

The victim in this matter never spoke over the phone or in person with the scammer.

All of the communication was through texting and emails.

The victim’s father reported the matter to police late last week after his suspicions were aroused when his son had asked him for a loan.

The victim continued to receive assurances from the scammer that she was legitimate and was in the process of purchasing a plane ticket to come and visit him.

Here are some tips to avoid being a victim of an online dating scam.

  • Keep in mind that the person you are communicating with online might not be who they say they are.  It’s very easy to create a fake online profile.  Don’t get fooled.
  • Never send money or give credit card or online account details to anyone you do not know and trust.  A request to send money to a foreign country or to a person you have never personally met should be a red flag.
  • Check website addresses carefully.  Scammers often set up fake websites with very similar addresses to legitimate dating websites.  Make sure you only use legitimate and reputable dating websites.
  • Be careful giving out personal information in an email or when you are chatting online.  Use the computer to your advantage.  Educate yourself, ask questions, and be skeptical.  Ask yourself, does this sound legitimate?  Does this make sense?  Don’t let your emotions cloud your good judgment.

If you suspect that you may be a target of a fraud, or if you have already sent funds, contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at www.antifraudcentre.ca or by calling 1-888-495-8501.

Alternatively you can contact the Huron OPP Detachment at 1-888-310-1122 or (519) 524-1074.